- 11 AUG 2016
Post Cabinet Briefing Summary – Thursday 11th August, 2016
The Honourable Stuart Young, Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister and Minister in the Office of the Attorney General, addressed members of the media during the Post Cabinet Press Briefing today (Thursday 11th August, 2016) at the Office of the Prime Minister, St. Clair, Port of Spain.
Minister Young provided an update on the Caribbean Gas Chemical Limited (CGCL) deal which is a downstream investment of up to 1 billion TTD involving Japanese automotive manufacturers, Mitsubishi, local conglomerate, Massy Group and the National Gas Company (NGC).
Upon taking office, an opinion form the Attorney General on the matter was sought by a group of investors. However, during the process, a number of red flags were noted by the technocrats and government lawyers expressed a number of concerns. Subsequently, the Standing Committee on Energy mandated Minister Young along with members of the Standing Committee to investigate the transaction so as to determine whether or not to continue as agreed by the previous administration.
The Committee determined that to continue with the agreement in its previous form would not be an appropriate decision as Trinidad and Tobago would be open to billions of US dollars in claims.
The government of Trinidad and Tobago then embarked on negotiations with the government of Japan as well as the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC), in order to reach a mutually acceptable amendment. The amendment now ensures that Trinidad and Tobago is protected from potential claims.
High level officials of the Mitsubishi Group visited Trinidad and Tobago and signed the amended agreement. The acting Prime Minister, the Honourable Colm Imbert, in his substantive role as Minister of Finance signed an amended comfort letter and Minister Young also signed as Acting Attorney General on the final document which has concluded the transaction.
Furthermore, now that the Attorney General’s opinion has been completed, a ministerial statement will be made in Parliament when it reopens so as to provide additional details of the deal.
This renegotiated deal is expected to bring employment to Trinidad and Tobago, particularly the constituency of La Brea.
The Honourable Colm Imbert, Acting Prime Minister, also responded to questions posed by members of the media.